Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

...that's what my Grade Ones are made of.
I adore my Grade Ones. We've had weeks worth of struggles and there are certainly still days where we are all staring at the clock, counting down until 2:15. But that doesn't mean that we don't love each other. Drive each other crazy? Yes. Love each other at the end of the day? Yes.

My cuties.
But it has taken us a long time to get to this place. We've put in weeks worth of routines and butting heads and tears before finally reaching this place where we actually enjoy being together. I wanted to share some of my joys, as well as struggles, with everyone here at CEE, so Cristian and I decided to switch classes for one class today. He taught my Grade Ones while I taught his Grade Threes. Hands down Grade Three is the easier class. Poor Cristian had no idea what he was getting himself into when he agreed to this.
So I teach two classes of Grade One before Cristian comes into my room. I explain to my Grade Ones that I had to go somewhere, that Mr. Cristian would be their teacher, and that I expected them to be on their verrrrrry best behavior. I walk out the door, smirking to myself, and head on up to Grade Three.
Easiest 40 minutes of my life. The kids were engaged, they were quiet, they participated. We made a little deal that if they could all get to "Terrific", I would give them each a Siguabuck. We finished class a little early, so I gave them about three minutes to talk to each other. They chose not to. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I almost wanted to shut the door, teach through recess, and let the kids go home early at the end of the day. It was incredible. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Mr. Cristian's experience in Grade One.
While I wasn't there and can't say exactly how the students behaved, I can say that my Grade Ones weren't exactly at the top of their game today. Not exactly the best day for a guest teacher and certainly not showcasing off their best behaviors. I definitely received a negative report from all teachers involved and a firm "I am NEVER doing that again!" from Mr. Cristian.
Despite the fact that it was a nice, easy break in my day and the fact that my Grade Ones were downright dreadful, I was glad to return to the classroom after recess. They were nowhere near as calm as Grade Three, but they're mine. My precious, rambuctious, wild Grade Ones. Who are funny and goofy and really, really smart. They've got a tough exterior, but crack through that and the tough exterior actually seems worth it.
Mr. Cristian might not be coming back to Grade One for a long, long time, but that's okay. Because I couldn't imagine giving them to anyone else.

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